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Re: GCC 3.3 Questions: Should I Install? Should I install with ProPolice?

Dan Anderson <dan@mathjunkies.com> writes:

> I am trying to figure out Linux with the help of O'Reilly's /Running
> Linux/.  It recommends that I do not install new versions of compilers
> unless absolutely necessary just in case things get broken by the new
> version of the compiler.  

That sounds like FUD to me, unless maybe you're running something like
Slackware (or maybe Gentoo) where you're compiling new versions of
system programs frequently.  On i386, I don't think there have been
major problems where a compiler bug crippled unstable, even though the
compiler updates fairly frequently.

> I really want to install GCC 3.3 with ProPolice
> (http://www.research.ibm.com/trl/projects/security/ssp/) enabled by
> default.  Will this really make compiling programs problematic?

In theory, if the patch works, you should be fine.  From their
description of the patch, if it works as advertised, it shouldn't
destroy your ability to compile things, and you can turn it off with a
command-line switch.

> Can I keep two versions of GCC on my system just in case it breaks
> things? How would I go about doing this?

If I were doing this, I'd install the modified gcc in a subdirectory
of /usr/local (possibly using stow), give the top-level gcc binary a
different name (gcc-pp), and then *maybe* install a symlink from
/usr/local/bin/gcc to that.  Then you'd still have the normal Debian
gcc available in case something broke.

David Maze         dmaze@debian.org      http://people.debian.org/~dmaze/
"Theoretical politics is interesting.  Politicking should be illegal."
	-- Abra Mitchell

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